Step By Step Guide To Personal Mobility Devices Use In Singapore
Personal mobility devices are becoming increasingly popular in Singapore, given their ability to enhance mobility between nearby locations. PMD’s such as e-scooters hoverboards as well as electric unicycles are common in many Singapore streets despite the government ramping up efforts in a bid to regulate their operations.
Rising safety concerns on the streets as well as in neighborhoods forced the government to enact the Active Mobility Act in 2018. The act highlights some of the obligations that owners and riders must be aware of before they hit the road. However, very few people have an idea of their rights as well as obligations when it comes to handling these pieces of innovation.
Below are some of the guidelines that one should be aware of before buying, let alone moving around with any personal mobility device.
Is Your PMD Device Approved
To avoid the possibility of your e-scooter, hoverboard or electric unicycle being seized by authorities, then ensure they are approved’ by the Land Transport Authority. Businesses selling these devices are required by law to sell only authorized PMDs. However, that does not mean that a buyer does not need to be extra careful.
For e-scooters, they must have a maximum weight of 20kg, be 70cm in width with a maximum speed of 25km/h for operation in Singapore. Moving around with non-approved PMD devices exposes one to the risk of a $5,000 fine or a jail term of not less than three months.
Registration is A Must
Only registered Personal Mobility Devices are permissible in designated pathways in Singapore. The requirement came into effect on January 2, 2019, requiring all PMDs operated by people above 16 years to be registered. The registration seeks to ensure that only approved PMD are operated on the roads as per the standards set by the LTA.
A fine of as much as $5,000 is eligible to people who make false declarations as part of the registration process. Riding unregistered PMD devices also entitles one to a fine of not less than $2,000 or a jail term of not less than three months.
Upon the payment of a mandatory $20 registration fee, one is to be issued with a registration number that acts as an identification number to a PMD device registered.
It is not a must to ensure a PMD device before using it. However, the Ministry of Transport advice on buying a third party liability as a precautionary measure to shield oneself from liabilities on hitting people or damaging third party property. NTUC Income offers an insurance product for PMDs that offers coverage to a tune of $1 million in the event of an accident or damages to a third party property.
Fire Safety Standards Compliance
Starting July 2020, all PMD devices operated in the country will have to comply with UL2272 fire safety standard. The requirement seeks to address the increasing cases of fires that have rocked many PMD devices while charging.
Before buying a PMD, a buyer ought to ask a retailer whether a given device is compliant with UL2272 standards. Individuals caught riding scooters that are non-UL2272 compliant starting July 2020 risk a fine of $5,000 or a jail term of up to six months.
Designated Pathways for PMD
Under Singapore laws, it is illegal to operate personal mobility devices in undesignated pathways, which include motor vehicle pathways and pedestrian-only pathways. Under AMA rules, PMDs can only be operated on footpaths or shared paths.
The only exception to the rules is when one is crossing the pedestrian-only path or road to a designated pathway. One can also use other alternative paths in case a designated pathway is blocked.
The penalties of riding PMDs on pedestrian-only paths include a fine of not less than $1,000 or a jail term of 3 months. Repeat offenders stand the risk of higher penalties. By operating a PMD on the road then first-time offenders risk a fine of up to $2,000 or three months in jail, repeat offenders stand the risk of a $5,000 fine or a six-month jail term.
Data by the Land Transport Authority indicates that nearly a fifth of 3,700 accidents associated with PMDs reported since last year were as a result of riders speeding, riding recklessly or using PMDs on roads. Police officers, as well as auxiliary officers and trained public servants, have the mandate to enforce laws pertaining to the safe operating of PMDs.
Speeding while on PMDs is illegal. The speed limit for e-scooters while on footpaths is capped at 10km/h while on shared paths is capped at 25km/h. Just as is the case with speeding on motorways, offenders stand the risk of incurring fines
PMD riders found over speeding stand the risk of a $1,000 fine or a jail term of up to 3 months. Riding dangerously to the extent of posing a danger to other users could see riders hit with a $5,000 fine or a six months jail term.
PMD riders must wear helmets while riding on the roads. The only time when one is not allowed to wear a helmet is when crossing a road as part of a journey.
One can enter public buses and trains with their PMDs at any time of the day. However, they must be kept folded at all times, pushed or carried, instead of being ridden. Any protruding parts must be retracted while using a public transport system.
Management of privately owned shopping or business centers have the discretion to decide whether to allow or restrict the use of PMD’s inside their premises
Personal mobility devices are some of the best innovations for carrying out simple errands around the neighborhood. When used the right way, they are the best for beating traffic over short distances and keeping fit. However, riders need to understand their obligations while operating these devices to avoid unnecessary fines on small violations.